It was a beautiful night. It obviously was since Luna always did a fine job turning the day into night. But it was a special night this time; not that kind of special where somepony would have their “friend” over but more like a get-together with old friends, some older than others… or younger… in actual age terms.
“I can’t remember the last time the four of us got together and just… thou wot, sat down and talk'd while having dinner.” Princess Luna remarked.
“I don’t think we’ve ever done that.” Responded Twilight.
“I think we’ve gotten together at some point.” Cadance said.
“Not for dinner, at least not all four of us.” Celestia pointed out.
That’s why all the princesses were together. To have dinner together and talk, like any other normal pony.
“Well I, for one, am glad that we all found time in our busy schedules to come to dinner. I believe it will help us relieve the stress from our daily lives… and nightly in Luna’s case.” Twilight stated. The four princesses were at Twilight’s castle. Cadance had flown in specially just to spend time with her favorite sister-in-law. They all sat out on Twilight’s brand new balcony sipping tea and eating a nice feast. Celestia smiled warmly at the three younger alicorns.
“It’s a beautiful night after all.” Celestia commented while gazing at the sky. Luna blushed and looked up at the night above them.
“Wherefore thank thou dear sister.” Luna replied. Cadance and Twilight also turned their faces skyward. That’s when they saw it. In an instant one of the stars in the night sky dropped from it’s place. It plummeted through the one cloud in the sky and farther down until it slammed into the horizon. A wave of magic spread out from the horizon until it washed over the four alicorns like a wave hitting the beach. Twilight let out a small gasp as the magic seemed to resonate within her very body.
“What was that!?” Twilight shouted and looked to the other princesses. Cadance looked just as confused but Luna’s face was serious. Celestia was still looking at the spot where the star had hit with an even more serious face. Finally after what felt like a lifetime Celestia turned to Luna.
“Shall we go and retrieve it sister?” Luna asked and Celestia nodded. Luna stood from her place and spread her wings.
“Wait,” Celestia said standing from her own seat. “We shall go together.” Twilight looked to Cadance who stood without a word. Twilight looked around at the other princesses slowly before rising herself. Celestia glanced at Cadance then turned to her former student with a frown.
“I’m going.” Twilight said with all the resolve she could muster at the time. Luna also frowned down at the young princess.
“We hast nay idea what we will encounter.”
“I’m the princess of friendship now. If all of you are going then so am I.” Twilight tried to leave no room for argument and simply state the facts of the situation. Twilight turned to her former teacher and gave her a half pleading look. Finally Celestia sighed and nodded.
“If Twilight wishes to go it is not our place to stop her.” With that statement Celestia took to the air. Luna was quick to follow and Twilight was right behind her. All three alicorns looked down at Cadance who still stood on the balcony.
I’m still out of practice flying but I guess this is a matter to be dealt with immediately. Twilight thought. Cadance looked longingly down at the meal before her then took to the air as well. When all the princesses were in the air Celestia turned towards the direction where the star had fallen. Twilight glanced at Luna before following Celestia.
“Where are we going?” Twilight was unfamiliar with the area where the star hit the horizon.
“The Frozen North.” Celestia responded without glancing back.
“But… nopony has ever been to the Frozen North!” Twilight exclaimed. “We have no idea what’ll happen while we’re all gone or for how long.”
“I doubt we’ll be gone for long even with the distance we’ll have to travel.”
Then, Luna’s batpony guards caught up to them, obviously wondering about what was going on. “Princess, is something the matter?” Said one of the guards.
Princess Celestia stopped and hovered in place. “You mean you don’t know what just happened?”
“Forgive me Princess, I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
“Thou didn't feel the wave of magic earlier?” Luna said.
The batpony guards looked at each other and shook their heads.
“The falling star, thou didn't notice it? Or the magic power that radiated when it landed?”
“We saw the star, but we felt no magic Princess, sorry.” Luna looked to Celestia.
“We will be retrieving the star and putting it back where it belongs.” Celestia said in a diplomatic manner. “Please alert the rest of the guards.” The batpony guards nodded and flew back to the castle. They returned with Celestia’s guards in their gleaming gold armor and Cadance’s crystal pony guards. With no guards of her own Twilight felt a little left out. When the six pegasus, six batpony, and six crystal ponies reached them they bowed their heads to their respective princess. With a simple nod from Celestia they were off.
They flew for about an hour before Twilight could feel the bite of winter on her wings. She glanced down at the ground to see it change from spring to winter before her eyes. She looked around to find she was the only one to notice. Each princess flew with her guards at her sides and was not looking at the ground. With her own sides bare Twilight felt out of place. She felt the same as before she had her title of the princess of friendship. She decided then and there when they returned she would see about getting a couple of guards.
The mountains that had been so distant were now coming closer and closer. Twilight knew almost nothing about the land beyond those mountains and not for lack of trying. Twilight had read practically every book on the Frozen North but almost none mentioned the land beyond it. Those that did mention it all said the same thing that it was an inhospitable land with no pony citizens to speak of. Twilight expected to be freezing for a few hours while searching for the star and then going home empty handed. As Twilight was thinking a mountain came to greet them and Celestia angled herself upwards to climb over it. The other princesses and their guards followed suit. Twilight, still thinking, almost bumped into the mountain. She angled up at the last second and followed the other princesses up the mountain. Soon they crested the peak and could see what lied beyond the mountain. Twilight saw exactly what she was expecting a barren frozen wasteland. Without pausing Celestia flew towards the ground. Twilight and the other princesses followed after her. The guards themselves though hesitated for a few seconds before following after their princesses.
The ground came at them fast and as they neared it Twilight could feel the wind chill her to the bone. They landed with grace on the snow covered ground and looked around at their surroundings. None of them could have predicted what would happen next.
The beast came suddenly and totally without expectation. It burst from the snow suddenly and swiped at one of Celestia’s guards, the force of the impact killing him instantly.
The remaining ponies were immediately aware of the situation and turned to meet the attacker. What they saw resembled an ursa minor but looked different and more developed. They did not have time to get comfortable with just one opponent when two more ursa’s emerged from the snow.
The ice wolves had been tracking the mysterious strangers once they smelled them off in the distance. They had no idea who or what they were exactly except that they could somehow fly. They had never encountered such beings before and they could sense the magic that radiated off the ones with the horns. And then the ursas came and started attacking them. The wolves hung back, their leader deciding to wait a little longer to see what the newcomers did. Caution was required here, they had not encountered any other kind of sentient life but most of the strangers were wearing armor and regalia. Perhaps they could finally find some allies in this harsh and unforgiving wasteland they called home.
The Lupine Nation could use all the allies it could get, it wouldn’t hurt. And then the unthinkable happened as the wolves were watching them.
The strangers started using magic.
The leader of the wolves didn’t hesitate for a moment longer, she ordered her wolves to attack the ursa minors.
Twilight deflected another swipe from the ursa minor. The ponies had formed a defensive circle, with the guards flying and trying to distract the ursa minors while the princesses used magic to incapacitate them. Or at least attempt to, they seemed to be shrugging off some of the magic but the Alicorn princesses were holding back in order to conserve energy for putting the fallen star back in its rightful place.
Then they heard the howls, the howl of timberwolves. That should be impossible. Twilight thought as she turned to focus on the sound. But what she saw were not timberwolves, but they were certainly… wolves of some kind. The situation started becoming confusing when the wolves started attacking the ursa minors. It was made even stranger when the wolves started taking up positions in front of the princesses, as if in defense.
An ursa grabbed a wolf in its mouth and shook it around like a rag doll. The pack members did not take this well and they swarmed the ursa, overwhelming it and eventually bringing it down. The process went on like this for another minute, with the ursa minors falling for the same trap, the next wolves that went in as bait were lucky to evade the jaws of the ursa, unlike the first.
Another ursa minor appeared and started attacking the group, having been woken up from its slumber and being in a really bad mood. The pegasus guards distracted the ursa while the wolves attacked it, striking with precision with years of experience to back up. The ursa roared in anger and swiped once more and it would have hit an unfortunate wolf if not one of the princesses projected a shield to protect it. The ursa, completely outnumbered and outmatched, eventually succumbed to its wounds and fell down to the ground.
The battle was over relatively quicker once the wolves showed up, and once they managed to regroup, the wolves stood in formation facing the princesses. The princesses’ guards did the same, ready for a battle at any time.
Princess Celestia stepped forward, determined to not engage in another battle and take control of the situation before a possible battle did occur. “I do not know why you aided us just now but I thank you.”
A wolf, larger than the others and obviously the leader, stepped forward. When it spoke it had a feminine voice. “My name is Alfhild. I know this might seem sudden but we saved you to learn more from you.”
Cadance stepped forward this time. “If I may pose a question, we’ve never encountered wolves that can talk. What are you called?”
“Our species are called ice wolves and we’ve never seen anything like… you before.”
“We’re called ponies and I thank you for the assistance but I think we could have handled ourselves.” Twilight said with confidence, but trying not to sound rude.
Alfhild shook her head, but it seemed like she had almost expected the comment. “No, I doubt it. You’re obviously new to this land if you think that. Those ursa will be the very least of your troubles. Tell us why you’re here, if it were up to us, we would be out of here by now if it weren’t for the fact that the mountains are completely impossible to traverse… for now at least.”
Celestia saw no harm in revealing the reason that they were here. “We saw that a star had fallen from the sky, we are here to retrieve it.”
The wolves looked at each other. Finding it hard to believe, at the very least. Such a thing was practically unheard of in their society, retrieving a fallen star? It was impossible… but… these ponies, they had gotten over the mountains where they had failed… maybe they could do it. Alfhild looked at Celestia. “Very well, I can see no immediate harm in your mission. If we can help you with your mission we’ll see if it is within our power. On behalf of the Lupine Nation I would like to extend an invitation for you to stay as guests during your time here… I would advise that you do this.”
“Well, we wouldn’t want to intrude.”
“Oh trust me, we can work things out when we get back to Wolf Bleak and it’s safest for all of us to be there and-” Alfhild stopped suddenly and sniffed the air a little bit. “We should get going now, actually, I smell a storm coming.”
“It’s just a storm.” Twilight said.
“I don’t know what storms are like for you ponies, but the weather here is extremely dangerous and unpredictable. Follow us and keep up if you can!” With that Alfhild bounded off and the rest of her pack followed her. The princesses looked at each other briefly before taking to the skies to follow the wolves with their guards following closely behind.